By Amelia Ball
Queensland hoteliers wishing to operate until 5:00am will have to pay an annual fee of $17,500 to do so if proposed changes to the 1992 Liquor Act are approved.
A Queensland Government spokesperson confirmed venues operating between midnight and 3:00am would pay an annual fee of $7500, while those open between 3:00am and 5:00am would be charged an additional $10,000 a year.
The state government has not previously charged for the extended hour permits in this way, with the spokesperson stating the fees would not be for raising revenue but for funding liquor licensing areas to further assist venues.
All licensed premises applying for the extended hours would also be risk-assessed, with the venue’s history taken into account.
Other proposed changes to the Act include allowances for small bars, which could result in boutique wine bars that would not have to serve food.
Since the small bar proposal was announced late last year, the department has reportedly fielded a bulk of calls requesting further details regarding the plans.
The Liquor Act proposal has been introduced to Parliament, with debate set for the next few months.
The Queensland Government hopes to have changes in place by October before the traditional end-of-year Schoolies period.